Expand Your Business Overseas With Up to S$100,000 MRA Grant
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Get S$100,000 To Expand Your Business Overseas with The Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) Grantadmin2024-02-21T11:55:23+08:00
Are you a business owner in Singapore looking to expand your operations and reach new markets? Considering entry into a new market or expanding an existing one overseas? The MRA grant offers the financial boost you need to make it happen.
This grant aims to help businesses enhance their international competitiveness and expand their footprint in new markets.
So, let’s dive in and explore how the MRA can support your business expansion goals in Singapore and beyond.
What is the Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) Grant?
The purpose of the MRA grant is to support Singapore owned businesses for business development, promotion, and set-up costs when you enter a new foreign market for expansion.
Due to the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, implemented enhanced grant support levels for a limited time period. This aims to promote the revitalization of the economy and aid Singapore businesses in building greater resilience following the pandemic.
Key Benefits of Singapore MRA Grant
The Singapore Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) Grant offers numerous benefits for businesses venturing into international markets.
UP TO 50% OF ELIGIBLE COSTS COVERED
The grant covers up to 50% of eligible costs for Local SMEs, with specific caps for different activities and limited to a maximum of S$100,000 per new market and may include:
Overseas Market Promotion (capped at S$20,000)
Overseas Business Development (capped at S$20,000)
Overseas Market Set-up (capped at S$20,000)
Currently, from April 1, 2023 to March 31, 2025, the grant covers up to 50% of eligible costs, capped at S$100,000.
Importantly to take note:
Each MRA grant application is restricted to one activity per overseas market,
No pre-approved vendors. However, companies should select a consultant from EnterpriseSG’s list for Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and Trade Compliance consultancy services.
All MRA claims are subject to audit by EnterpriseSG’s Pre-Qualified Panel, with audit costs supported by EnterpriseSG, as per the Letter of Offer. Companies must ensure all necessary documents are submitted to their chosen auditor before claiming via the Business Grant Portal.
Tips: Singapore companies that qualify for the SkillsFuture Enterprise Credit can also be eligible for extra subsidies as part of the program.
Eligibility Criteria and Requirements for MRA Grant
At least 30% of the company’s equity must be held directly or indirectly by Singapore Permanent Residents (PRs) or citizens, determined by ultimate individual ownership.
3. New to Target Overseas Market:
The company is entering a target overseas market for the first time.
4. Sales Limit in Target Market:
Annual sales in the target market must not have exceeded S$100,000 in any of the preceding three years.
5. Size Limit:
Group Annual Sales Turnover should not exceed S$100 million or Group employment size should not exceed 200 employees.
The MRA Grant supports various activities aimed at market promotion, business development, and market setup, including:
1. Overseas Market Promotion:
Activities such as Overseas Physical Trade Fairs, Virtual Trade Fairs, and Overseas Marketing and PR Activities are supported.
2. Overseas Business Development:
Supported activities include Business Matching and Overseas Marketing Presence, facilitating the identification of potential partners and B2B customers and conducting marketing activities in the target market.
3. Overseas Market Set-up:
This category covers Market Entry Support, which includes expenses related to advisory services, legal support, and documentation required for intellectual property application, as well as FTA and Trade Compliance Consultancy to ensure compliance with FTAs and trade regulations.
Tip: It is important to discuss with your chosen MRA Consultant on the items that you would require and whether it is covered by the grant.
Application process for the MRA Grant in Singapore
How to apply for the MRA Grant
The application process for the Market Readiness Grant (MRA) involves several steps to ensure that businesses can access the support effectively and efficiently.
1. Register on the Business Grants Portal:
Create an account on the Business Grants Portal, the platform for accessing government grants in Singapore.
2. Complete Online Application Form:
Fill out the online application form, providing details about your business and the proposed market entry activities.
3. Provide Market Entry Details:
Specify the intended overseas market and the strategies you plan to implement for market entry.
4. Prepare a Comprehensive Proposal:
Develop a detailed proposal covering aspects such as target market analysis, competition assessment, marketing strategies, and anticipated outcomes.
5. Submit Application and Proposal:
Submit your application and proposal through the portal for evaluation.
6. Evaluation Process:
Your application and proposal will undergo assessment to determine their viability and merit.
7. Receive Letter of Offer:
If successful, you’ll receive a letter of offer outlining the terms and conditions of the grant support.
8. Accept Offer and Begin Market Entry:
Accept the offer and proceed with implementing your market entry strategies with the support of the MRA grant.
This step-by-step process guides businesses through applying for the Market Readiness Grant (MRA) in Singapore, from registration to receiving grant support for international expansion.
Timeline for the MRA grant
It usually takes 1 week for us to finalise our proposals to be MRA-ready.
Week 7 to 13
Due to a large number of applications submitted, it takes 8-12 weeks to process rathen than the usual 6-9 weeks.
Note: It is best to use a 12 months project period (which is the maximum) in case of unforeseen delays. This way, you do not have to keep extending your project end date in the Business Grant Portal.
Reach our Representatives
We are not allowed to apply on behalf of applicant companies but we can assist with your advisory and preparation of required documents.
Singapore’s tax incentives play a crucial role in fostering business growth and international expansion. These incentives are design to attract foreign investment, promote innovation, and enhance competitiveness in the global marketplace. Key aspects of Singapore’s tax framework include:
Singapore offers various tax exemptions for certain types of income, including foreign-sourced income and capital gains. This favorable tax treatment reduce the overall tax burden on businesses, enabling them to reinvest profits into further expansion and development.
Double Taxation Agreements (DTAs)
Singapore has an extensive network of DTAs with numerous countries, which help to prevent double taxation of income earned from cross-border activities. By eliminating or reducing tax barriers, DTAs facilitate international trade and investment, making it easier for businesses to expand into new markets and forge strategic partnerships globally.
Intellectual Property (IP) Tax Incentives
Singapore provides attractive tax incentives for companies that invest in the development, acquisition, and commercialization of intellectual property. These incentives include reduced tax rates on IP income and enhanced deductions for IP-related expenses. By incentivizing innovation and IP creation, Singapore encourages businesses to invest in R&D and capitalize on the value of their intellectual assets to drive growth and competitiveness.
Your Questions, Answered
We’ve handpicked the top questions that we get asked a lot when it comes to MRA Grant in Singapore.
To apply for the Singapore Market Readiness Assistance Grant, there are several required documents that need to be submitted. The purpose of the MRA grant is to support SMEs in their overseas expansion and market set-up activities. This includes providing consultancy services and business matching in the selected market. The MRA grant can be obtained as long as the company meets the criteria set by Enterprise Singapore and has a clear plan for their overseas expansion.
First, the SME must confirm their business activity on their BizFile before applying.
Secondly, the company’s financial statements need to be provided.
Additionally, a quotation and proposal from a vendor is also necessary.
All claims can only be done once the business expansion project ends and has to be done within 3 months from the project end date.
Companies have to appoint an independent auditor to verify all the expenses and provide the relevant supporting documents. If the company engages an ESG-appointed auditor, you will receive an audit grant fee, capped at S$500, or 70% of the audit fee.
After the project end date, a typical audit takes 1-2 weeks to complete before you can submit to ESG for claims.
If you use the MRA grant for salary payments of 12 months, you can only claim after 12 months and all salary payments are disbursed.
Applying correctly can cover all costs because MRA does cover marketing activities in any new markets. We would suggest that each country should have its quotation and submit multiple submissions accordingly. Otherwise, EnterpriseSG officers may pro-rate your grant according to the country at hand.
The maximum grant amount of S$100,000 is applicable to each distinct entity/business during the period. Enterprise Singapore will assess the applications according to the internationalization strategies of the applicant company. The authorities will consider any separate applicant companies with comparable business registration information (such as type of business, location, shareholders/directors, etc.) as related enterprises. They will subject these companies to a combined grant limit of S$100,000 during the period.
A newly established company may face challenges in establishing eligibility, as stakeholders may perceive the project as not viable. However, if an established brand or business is creating a new company for a project abroad, they can provide an explanation and obtain approval.
For instance, a local company in Singapore, Mr Mala Hotpot Pte Ltd, established a new subsidiary, MH Franchise Pte Ltd, for the purpose of business matching in China. The company can leverage its strong support from the parent company to demonstrate the feasibility of the project.
Newer companies aged one year or less may find it challenging to obtain the MRA because the authorities consider financial statements from the past year. However, strong performance in Singapore within a shorter timeframe boosts confidence in the application.
Applying for a dormant company isn’t advisable unless backed by an existing brand/business (e.g., a subsidiary or related company) to explain the situation and demonstrate the feasibility of expansion.
For example, an existing local Singapore company Trading Hotpot Pte Ltd has had a dormant subsidiary THC Pte Ltd not in use due to lack of overseas projects. Now that THC is prepared to extend their intellectual property into China, they can leverage the support of their parent company to showcase the project’s feasibility.
MRA GRANT ARTICLES
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